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Laundry gets high-tech
August 24, 2005 7:01 PM PDT

OK, so maybe this won't go down in history as the most significant technological breakthrough of all time, but Fark pointed us to a really cool new concept from Massachusetts-based Mac-Gray Corporation. Dubbed LaundryView, colleges and universities can set up networks of washing machines and dryers. Via an online site, students can see which machines are free and how much time is left on those that are currently in use.

What's more, the system will send alerts to mobile phones and PDAs when the machine a student is using finishes its cycle. According to the site, LaundryView will also track overall usage for the last two weeks, so students can determine which days and times are usually the busiest.

We'll file this one under "w" for "Wow, why did nobody think of this before?" It seems like a very cool system that could lead to even more functionality--like the ability to pay for laundry via an online account (paid by the parents of course) or to reserve washers ahead of time. At least, it will be cool until the guy on the 6th floor of your dorm hacks the system to display all washers as busy, leaving him to bask in the glory of having an empty laundryroom all to himself. But barring that, it could certainly save college students quite a bit of time--time they can use to...umm...study. Right. Study. That's what they'll do with it.

Posted by Jennifer Guevin
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